The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Artist discovers naked Connery

Edinburgh, Aug. 23: A retired art teacher discovered sketches of a young Sir Sean Connery in her attic when she “put two-and-two together” after reading an article describing the actor’s early career as an artist’s model.

Hilary Buchanan, 68, looked through old sketches she made as a student nearly 50 years ago, and realised for the first time that they were of the film star before he had found fame and fortune. She was an 18-year-old art student when she did the pen and ink and pencil sketches of a near-naked Sir Sean in a loincloth.

He was working as a milkman at the time, and made extra money by showing off his body-builder’s physique as a live model.

Buchanan said she leafed through her old sketchbooks to find the drawings after seeing a picture of him as he was in the 1950s that brought “everything flooding back”.

“It was like a flashback and I went upstairs to the attic and looked out my old books and there he was,” she said.

“I have unearthed around seven sketches in a very tatty sketchbook and they are turning brown at the edges because they are so old.”

Buchanan, of Gorebridge, Edinburgh, who now teaches art at adult evening classes, drew the actor in the months before his career began to take off. She remembers his “jet black eyebrows” as much as his “spectacular” physique. “He had a presence, a very solid presence,” she added. “But we had many models over the course of the four years I was at the Edinburgh College of Art and he was just another study at the time.” Months later, he caught the eye of talent scouts when he came third in the Mr Universe contest in London in 1953.

One suggested he audition for a new musical called South Pacific, and his physique helped him win a minor part.

Richard Demarco, the Edinburgh artist and promoter, who also painted Connery as a young man, said he always had a considerable impact on female students.

“When he modelled there were always lots of girls in the classes because they were attracted by his Adonis-like physique. He was a great inspiration for any artist and was amazing to paint and draw.”

Buchanan has not decided what to do with her drawings, but has made copies to give to her grandchildren. She made the discovery this week while the 73-year-old film star and former James Bond was visiting his home city.

He attended events at the Fringe, and was at the premiere of the Scottish film Afterlife on Thursday night.

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